You hate your job.
Sometimes you’ll tell anyone with ears how much you despise your job. Other times you prefer to suffer in silence.
But make no mistake about it. You’re miserable.
And you’d rather not be.
So whether you’re a burned out lawyer, an overworked analyst or a cubicle warrior, here are some strategies to help you hate your job a little less.
1. Quit Your Bitching
You’ve gotta stop the ritualistic bitch sessions about work. It’s for your own sanity.
Not only do you risk developing a reputation as a notorious gossip-hound, but you also jeopardize your own happiness.
By constantly engaging in negative activities like bitching and gossiping, you become a whirling twister of toxicity.
Before you know it, you’ll be unable to come up with anything positive to say about your job, and this delightful personality trait will eventually seep into your personal life.
Now, sometimes that happens because your job really is the worst thing since pickled beets. And it’s important to recognize that.
But what if the crappiness of your job is a byproduct of your incessant nitpicking?
It may seem like a chicken-or-the-egg situation, but scaling back your gripe sessions could reveal the root of your problem.
2. Be Brutally Honest
With yourself, that is.
You owe it to yourself and everyone around you to figure out why you hate your job.
Is it the people you work with? The excruciating commute? The gouge-your-eyes-out boredom?
Or are you the problem?
Hold up. This isn’t where you start shame spiraling into a vortex of Real Housewives of Self-Centered County, sweatpants and Cool Ranch Doritos. (Not that there’s anything wrong with said vortex, per se.)
We all have issues — family, money, mountains of old laundry — that can bring us down from time to time. And it’s easier to blame anything other than ourselves when shit hits the fan.
But if you’re the reason why you hate your job, changing up your work situation won’t solve anything.
Sure, it might seem better at first. But once the novelty wears off, you’ll be right back to where you are now — in Miseryville.
On the flipside, discovering you’re the cause of your unhappiness actually makes the whole job-hating scenario more manageable.
Why? Because your behavior is within your control.
So get your poop in a group first: see a therapist, hire a financial planner or splurge on a laundry service. Then see if you still hate your job.
3. Cut People Some Slack
We humans love to make sense of our world. And while this can be helpful in some areas of life, it can also lead us to be extremely close-minded. (Think religion and politics).
This means that your first reaction is likely dubbing your boss a self-righteous b-hole when he dumps a ton of urgent work on you… on a Friday afternoon.
Could your boss be, in fact, a complete tyrant? In which case, sorry ‘bout that.
But could he be dealing with a messy divorce? Coping with a death in the family? Or experiencing severe sleep deprivation due to a sleep-hating infant at home?
It’s much easier to label others as incompetent, rude or selfish when you’re not privy to their problems. So try keeping the following phrase in mind:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
It’s like when you bring a bad attitude to the office, only you’re not a bad person, but you’re not bringing your A-game due to your excess baggage.
Don’t get me wrong. Even if your boss does have a bunch of personal problems and isn’t really a horrible person, you’re not required to stick around to take the brunt of his unprofessionalism.
So try cutting people some slack. You might be surprised.
But consider cutting yourself loose if someone’s personal issues are giving you a set of your own.
4. Take Control
Once you’ve narrowed down the source(s) of your discontent, it’s time to make a plan.
Actively working toward a meaningful goal will increase your happiness. Plus, creating a plan will give you a sense of control you otherwise lack in your career.
Whatever your goal — a promotion, different job, new career, resolution of personal issues — get serious about it.
Set deadlines for yourself. Lean on your support system. Find a coach to keep you motivated and accountable. Get a psychologist to help you sort through your personal stuff.
Above all else, TAKE ACTION.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll uncover a hidden love for your workplace.
But you will discover what you’re missing. And you owe it to yourself to go find it.
This post first ran on Brazen Careerist's Brazen Life blog. Brazen Life's posts are packed with smart, brazen career advice for young professionals and GenY go-getters.